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Archive for the ‘law’ category

Jul 31, 2021

I’m sorry Dave I’m afraid I invented that: Australian court finds AI systems can be recognised under patent law

Posted by in categories: food, law, robotics/AI

The applications claimed Dabus, which is made up of artificial neural networks, invented an emergency warning light and a type of food container, among other inventions.

Several countries, including Australia, had rejected the applications, stating a human must be named the inventor. The decision by the Australian deputy commissioner of patents in February this year found that although “inventor” was not defined in the Patents Act when it was written in 1991 it would have been understood to mean natural persons – with machines being tools that could be used by inventors.

But in a federal court judgment on Friday, justice Jonathan Beach overturned the decision, and sent the matter back to the commission for reconsideration.

Continue reading “I’m sorry Dave I’m afraid I invented that: Australian court finds AI systems can be recognised under patent law” »

Jul 29, 2021

This app wants you to consent before having sex

Posted by in categories: law, mobile phones, sex

Following the approval of the consent law by Danish parliament in December 2020, a team of Danish developers released iConsent, which allows users to send a request for consent via their phone to a potential partner, who can then accept or reject the encounter. Via @WIREDUK


Denmark’s iConsent aims to support new sexual consent legislation – but does it lack the sex appeal for everyday use?

Jul 23, 2021

Mind the gap: State-of-the-art technologies and applications for EEG-based brain–computer interfaces

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, education, law, neuroscience, security, wearables

Brain–computer interfaces (BCIs) provide bidirectional communication between the brain and output devices that translate user intent into function. Among the different brain imaging techniques used to operate BCIs, electroencephalography (EEG) constitutes the preferred method of choice, owing to its relative low cost, ease of use, high temporal resolution, and noninvasiveness. In recent years, significant progress in wearable technologies and computational intelligence has greatly enhanced the performance and capabilities of EEG-based BCIs (eBCIs) and propelled their migration out of the laboratory and into real-world environments. This rapid translation constitutes a paradigm shift in human–machine interaction that will deeply transform different industries in the near future, including healthcare and wellbeing, entertainment, security, education, and marketing. In this contribution, the state-of-the-art in wearable biosensing is reviewed, focusing on the development of novel electrode interfaces for long term and noninvasive EEG monitoring. Commercially available EEG platforms are surveyed, and a comparative analysis is presented based on the benefits and limitations they provide for eBCI development. Emerging applications in neuroscientific research and future trends related to the widespread implementation of eBCIs for medical and nonmedical uses are discussed. Finally, a commentary on the ethical, social, and legal concerns associated with this increasingly ubiquitous technology is provided, as well as general recommendations to address key issues related to mainstream consumer adoption.

Jul 20, 2021

Scientists Warn of “Bleak Cyborg Future” From Brain-Computer Interfaces

Posted by in categories: biological, computing, cyborgs, law, neuroscience

Researchers warn of the potential social, ethical, and legal consequences of technologies interacting heavily with human brains.

Surpassing the biological limitations of the brain and using one’s mind to interact with and control external electronic devices may sound like the distant cyborg future, but it could come sooner than we think.

Researchers from Imperial College London conducted a review of modern commercial brain-computer interface (BCI) devices, and they discuss the primary technological limitations and humanitarian concerns of these devices in APL Bioengineering, from AIP Publishing.

Continue reading “Scientists Warn of ‘Bleak Cyborg Future’ From Brain-Computer Interfaces” »

Jul 14, 2021

UK May Ban Boiling Lobsters Alive Under “Sentient Being” Law, So Can They Really Feel Pain?

Posted by in categories: ethics, government, law, space

Boiling lobsters alive may be banned under a new law in the UK designed to protect the welfare rights of animals considered sentient beings. So, are lobsters sentient, do they feel pain, and what does science have to say about the moral quagmire of crustacean agony and cooking pots?

Back in May 2021, the UK government introduced a bill to formally recognize animals as sentient beings. Among the many facets of the bill, it aimed to limit the import of products from trophy hunting, push for fairer space requirements for farm animals, and stop people from owning primates as pets.

However, the bill only covered animals with a backbone and didn’t include any protections for non-vertebrates, which includes octopuses, squid, insects, and crustaceans. The Times reports that ministers are now preparing to back an amendment to the House of Lords, the upper house of the UK Parliament, to extend the legislation to shellfish and cephalopod mollusks. As per the report, this is likely to involve an outright ban on boiling lobsters alive.

Continue reading “UK May Ban Boiling Lobsters Alive Under ‘Sentient Being’ Law, So Can They Really Feel Pain?” »

Jul 13, 2021

Silicon Valley bets on crypto projects to disrupt finance

Posted by in categories: finance, law

Lawyers and venture capitalists said DeFi inhabits a largely unregulated grey area that could face pressure from the new Securities and Exchange Commission chair Gary Gensler. Some investors drew comparisons between DeFi and the boom in initial coin offerings four years ago, which collapsed following interventions by regulators.


Wave of ‘DeFi’ projects aim to reinvent exchanges, insurance, lending and more.

Jul 13, 2021

On Quantum Collapse as a Basis for the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Posted by in categories: law, quantum physics, time travel

Basically means that time travel would be tricky as the reality bubble could collapse. One would need to strengthen the reality so that the past would still be the past and future the future.


It was first suggested by David Z. Albert that the existence of a real, physical non-unitary process (i.e., “collapse”) at the quantum level would yield a complete explanation for the Second Law of Thermodynamics (i.e., the increase in entropy over time). The contribution of such a process would be to provide a physical basis for the ontological indeterminacy needed to derive the irreversible Second Law against a backdrop of otherwise reversible, deterministic physical laws. An alternative understanding of the source of this possible quantum “collapse” or non-unitarity is presented herein, in terms of the Transactional Interpretation (TI).

Jul 1, 2021

How Pesticide Companies Corrupted the EPA and Poisoned America

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, food, health, law

“I realized that in the middle-dose group, which is the one that mattered for the no-effects level, they had conveniently left out one of the two baseline measurement days,” said Sheppard. “The outrageous thing was that the group they declared as NOEL was only that because they left out data from their analysis.” In a peer-reviewed paper published in October 2020, Sheppard and her colleagues concluded that “the omission of valid data without justification was a form of data falsification.”


In any case, bifenthrin was not the only pesticide that dodged testing to see if it presented dangers. The EPA’s pesticide office granted 972 industry requests to waive toxicity tests between December 2011 and May 2018, 89 percent of all requests made. Among the tests on pesticides that were never performed were 90 percent of tests looking for developmental neurotoxicity, 92 percent of chronic cancer studies, and 97 percent of studies looking at how pesticides harm the immune system.

By law, the companies that submit their products for review pay for these tests, and in a presentation about the waivers last year, Anna Lowit, a senior science adviser in the office, emphasized the savings to these companies: more than $300 million. Lowit also noted that animal lives were saved — a goal that the Trump administration and the chemical industry prioritized within the agency. The EPA developed the guidelines for waiving the tests along with BASF, Corteva, and Syngenta, pesticide manufacturers that all stand to benefit significantly from having their products bypass toxicity testing.

Continue reading “How Pesticide Companies Corrupted the EPA and Poisoned America” »

Jun 28, 2021

Video Game Voice Actors Alarmed

Posted by in categories: entertainment, information science, law, robotics/AI

Part of the problem mirrors the rise of automation in any other industry — performers told Input that they’re nervous that game studios might try to replace them with sophisticated algorithms in order to save a few bucks. But the game modder’s decision also raises questions about the agency that performers have over their own voices, as well as the artistry involved in bringing characters to life.

“If this is true, this is just heartbreaking,” video game voice actor Jay Britton tweeted about the mod. “Yes, AI might be able to replace things but should it? We literally get to decide. Replacing actors with AI is not only a legal minefield but an utterly soulless choice.”

“Why not remove all human creativity from games and use AI…” he added.

Jun 24, 2021

South African brothers disappear with $3.6B in bitcoin in alleged heist

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, finance, law

Two brothers in South Africa have disappeared along with $3.6 billion worth of bitcoin that was housed on their cryptocurrency investment platform, according to a Cape Town law firm hired by investors to investigate the alleged heist.

The law firm, Hanekom Attorneys, said it has reported the incident to the Hawks, an elite unit of South Africa’s national police force. Hanekom has also reported the matter to South African financial regulators and crypto exchanges around the world.

The brothers, Ameer and Raees Cajee, set up their crypto investment service, Africrypt, in 2019.

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